Congress to Challenge American Workers’ Health Insurance—Changing the Definition of a Full-time Worker and Other Proposals
As the 114th Congress convened this week, conservatives in the House of Representatives acted quickly to take up a Republican bill that could weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill is the first in a number of health care proposals that lawmakers may debate early in the session—some of which will seek to weaken the ACA and others that aim to continue programs that provide critical health coverage to consumers.
The first significant challenge to the Affordable Care Act in the new Congress—redefining a full-time worker from 30 to 40 hours a week—is headed to the Senate, where it has limited bipartisan support. Because it could prompt some employers to cut hours, changing the definition of full-time under the ACA could create a shift toward part-time work and increase government spending.
Today, Families USA issues a call to action in support of Health Reform 2.0 – a series of 19 specific proposals to improve health care for everyone in our nation. In the years ahead, we will build support for those proposals to hasten their adoption.
The timing for our proposals is challenging—many of you might reasonably wonder, at a point when the Affordable Care Act faces one of its most fundamental threats, is this the time to be thinking about the future of health care? Our answer is, “yes.”
5:00 p.m. update—With three weeks until the end of open enrollment, one thing that distinguishes this period from last year’s is the lack of news. Things have been going pretty well.
Kevin Counihan of CMS noted that he’s grateful for the work of everyone at the conference: “This audience represents our salesforce.”
Counihan ran down the improvements CMS made to Healthcare.gov: reduced number of screens required to enroll from 76 down to 16, the site is warmer, fonts are bigger. “We’re learning.“
5:30 p.m.—We just heard from two leading thinkers in health policy debate some of the most pressing issues related to access to affordable health care in America.
In a wide-ranging discussion that covered everything from Medicaid policy to children’s benefits on the exchanges to the ACA’s subsidies, these two feisty policy wonks hashed out their visions for the future while reflecting on the past year.
2:00 p.m.—We at Families USA have had a blast the past three days. Meeting all of you hard-working advocates has been inspiring and energizing for us. Relive Health Action 2015 by checking out our highlights blog and video of our plenary session on Medicaid and CHIP.
Thanks for being a part of our 20th annual gathering in Washington, D.C., hope to see you next year!
The wide spectrum of those who filed briefs proves the enormity of support for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance in general, and the continued availability of financial help for consumers (premium tax credits) in particular. Here’s a quick look at some of the individuals and groups who filed, along with the constituencies who would suffer if the Supreme Court rules in favor of withdrawing premium tax credits in states with federally facilitated marketplaces.
This blog is part of a weekly series—one that analyzes the political, legal, and social issues and ramifications of King v. Burwell, a lawsuit before the Supreme Court that threatens to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The case challenges the government’s provision of tax credits to help consumers buy health insurance in states where the federal government runs the marketplace. Learn about what’s at stake in King v. Burwell.
The second open enrollment period for buying coverage through the health insurance marketplaces ends on February 15, just as tax season is getting underway. Now is a good time to raise a proposal that we first suggested after the first open enrollment period last year: Create a “special enrollment period” for people who learn they will have to pay a tax penalty for being uninsured in 2014.